Freak Show

Hi, I’m Nina… and I’m a freak show.

Every time I see this snuggly face in the morning I want to cry.


You see, we have a morning routine that includes snuggling for a good thirty minutes. I’m not going to have time for that on the weekdays anymore and I may or may not have cried about it a couple of times.

When I was younger and didn’t have children I thrived off of change. My life long goal was to keep moving. I thought as long as I had a cute bathing suit and a working car that could get me to a place where that bathing suit might be useful then my life would be complete. I got bored easily and was always looking for ways to rock the boat. As soon as I got pregnant with Bridget my whole outlook changed. Rocking the boat was no longer something I craved because I didn’t want to do anything that would make waves for my kid.

Gone are the days of embracing change. That once spontaneous fun loving girl is now replaced by a freak show who has a melt down at every life changing event for fear that one day her child will end up on the show Intervention. I’m not proud of it but it’s the truth. Being a parent is hard because every thing you do impacts your kids.

I cherish every moment I have with my kids but at the same time I’m excited for those golden years when I can be reckless again… Mark my words, as soon as Penelope is off and on her own I will be on a nude beach somewhere scaring off all of the locals. By that time I will have outgrown the cute bathing suit thing and will no longer be responsible for my kid’s psychological well being.

It took me a while to acknowledge the change in my personality that came with motherhood. But now that I am aware of how I react to change I am better able to deal with myself and my meltdowns. I’ve been predicting a major one to happen once I started student teaching for quite a while. In fact, I wrote about it here on this post call Mom Jeans about a year ago.

That being said, the melt down has begun. For the past few days I have been smothering myself with my children spending as much quality time with them as possible before I get caught up in the work load that finishing my grad degree will require.

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I have some planning ahead that I need to do to make sure my first week runs smoothly but I don’t want to spend too much time doing that instead of hanging out with my kids. I’m seriously driving myself crazy. I am such a weirdo.

That being said I have already started to embrace a few changes. For one, I finally tried this salad I’ve been meaning to try for a while…

Chopped Brussels Sprouts Salad With Creamy Shallot Dressing


It will definitely go in the rotation for packing lunches. The left over dressing is currently sitting in my refrigerator. I’ve got a science experiment going on to see how long it will last.

I’ve also started making double batches of things and freezing the leftovers. I read that if you freeze your food in bags on a flat surface and then stack them like books not only will your freezer be more organized but your food will thaw out faster too.


Another thing I never did before kids… freeze shit and then take pictures of it. What is wrong with me?

So far I’ve collected the meat and sauce for Skinny chicken enchiladas, left over chicken quinoa harvest soup and turkey meatballs loaded with veggies. I’ve been also making a mental note of the things I think look yummy on pinterest or food blogs that I follow for meals for the following week. I never seem to find inspiration when I need it (Sunday during meal planning) so I’ve decided to start making the list when the inspiration finds me.

*Have you encountered personality changes as you’ve gotten older? If so what were they, and do you think they are for the better or for the worse?*

Being Organized Isn’t As Cool As I Thought It Would Be

***First things first: The winner of ZHENA’s Slim Me Tea is Tiffany Best! Email me at and I’ll have it shipped to you right away :)***


Do you have any idea how many posts I’ve written on this blog dedicated to getting my shit together?

A lot. 

This is because I am constantly on a mission to be better than I am. To be perfectly honest with you, sometimes I just suck at all things life related. I have this idea in my head that if only I were a bit more organized than all of my problems would magically be solved and all of my anxiety would cease to exist.

With this in mind, I woke up super early this morning, brewed myself a nice cup of coffee and settled down with all of my planning materials to plan out meals and workouts for the coming week…


Then I got bored and ended up reading this blog post that wants to help you have a more organized home in just 4 weeks. With visions of perfection dancing in my head I quickly moved on to this other blog post she wrote about creating a routine. It didn’t take me long to feel completely inadequate. You see, perfection isn’t my forte…

So, when Brent suggested I put aside my planning materials and take the girls sledding instead, I gladly ditched what I was doing in order to partake in some old fashioned family fun.

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After we got home and put Penelope down for her nap I finally settled down to plan out my meals and workouts for the next week. As I said in my previous post, I’m using this week as a dress rehearsal for the weeks ahead. For the next 16 weeks I will be completing my student teaching. This means that in order to accomplish everything I have laid out before me I have to be organized (even if I think it makes me a boring person). I’m hoping as the weeks progress this ritual of planning everything out ahead of time will become easier because it took me forever to decide what I wanted to eat and what kind of workouts I wanted to do.

So, here it goes… my attempt at being way more organized than I actually am.

Workout Schedule:

I haven’t lifted weights in nearly a month due to sickness and the holidays so I’ve decided to take it easy focusing on three movements back squat, push press and deadlift. 

Monday– (4 a.m.) 3 x 5 back squat, 15 min HIIT treadmill session, 30 min elliptical

Tuesday– yoga

Wednesday– 3 x 5 push press, 3 mile run jog

Thursday– yoga

Friday– 3 x 5 deadlift, 15 min HIIT treadmill session, 30 min elliptical

Saturday– off

Sunday– off

There’s a lot of yoga and cardio mixed in there this week because it helps me clear my mind. I’ve cried no less than 3 times today about my days as a stay-at-home mom being over. I caught myself sniffing Penelope’s head more times than I would like to admit because I’m super sad about not being able to have as much time with her as I’ve become accustomed to. (If you are a working mother and you kind of want to punch me in the face that’s okay.)

Planned Meals

I didn’t do any of the prepping that I will be required once student teaching starts because, quite frankly, I didn’t have to. 

MondayChicken Harvest Soup

Tuesday– New Year’s Eve Dinner (That means I’ll be having lobster tails if Whole Foods has them on sale like they did last year.)

WednesdayKale Fried Rice with pan seared chicken

ThursdaySpaghetti Squash Lasagna with meat sauce

Friday– rotisserie chicken with balsamic roasted butternut squash and onions with couscous (Just drizzle veggies with olive oil and balsamic vinegar add salt and pepper and roast at 400 30-40 minutes.)

Here are a few salads I want to try for lunch to see if they would be good for packing and taking to school with me later on.

Chopped Brussels Sprout Salad with Creamy Shallot Dressing

Moroccan Salad with Cilantro Orange Dressing

Lacinato Kale Salad

Okay, I’m tired now. According to my schedule I needed to be in bed forty-five minutes ago in order to ensure I had a full seven hours of sleep before heading out to the gym. Plus, I kind of want to take a shower and wash all of this nerdiness off of me. I feel like I need to do something reckless in order to regain my street cred… I might just live on the wild side and not even edit this post. What do you think of that Type A’ers?!

I’ll check in with you later to let you know if I actually crawled out of bed on time 😉

Mommy Dearest

I don’t know about you but when I get home from vacation I get in the mood to clean my house and organize.


Organization and I have a love/hate relationship. I love being organized I just hate doing the actual organizing. I function much better if I’ve got structure but the rebel in me can’t stand it. If I’m not organized I feel like a slob, if I’m too organized I feel like I’m not cool enough to hang out with myself… I’ve got standards, I can only hang out with the cool kids. No nerds allowed.

We left Bridget in St. Louis for a few days longer to be spoiled by her aunts and uncles. I’ve missed her like crazy so it was the perfect time to tackle the black hole that her room had become. For the past few months every time I walked past it I could feel my inner “Mommy Dearest” bubbling up. I thought for the sake of our mental health… both her’s and mine. It would be best if I stayed away and left the cleaning to her.

Needless to say she was simply too overwhelmed to do it right. I couldn’t take it anymore and took care of it while she was gone. This was best so that I wouldn’t yell at her when I found a moldy peanut butter and jelly sandwich under her bed or when I found that experimental grape that was almost a raisin.

raisenIs it a grape or a raisin?

This was a two day project because Brent was at work and Penelope wasn’t allowed in the hazard area until I got a better hold on it. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was halfway through and it was really bugging me to leave it unfinished(which is weird because I’m the queen of unfinished business). After it was all said and done 7 trash bags were sent to Goodwill and 4 were sent to the trash.

Here is the before…

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and the after…

mommy dearest2Aren’t you glad your mom didn’t write a blog when you were growing up?

In true nerdy fashion I have compiled a chore list to help her stay on track throughout the summer. I have to stay on top of her about it. I do NOT want this child to be like me when she grows up!

She’s flying in tomorrow with her Uncle Bryce and her cousin Ruby. I’ve got the meals tentatively planned and some fun activities waiting to be called upon.

Here are a few of the recipes I plan on making while they are here…

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins


Honey Mustard Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

kabobs(with cauliflower rice)

Caprese Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Reduction


Prosciutto, Melon and Spinach Salad

melon salad

Roasted Apricots With Mascarpone and Blackberry Drizzled With Honey

roasted apricots

(This link was a dead end but it sounds pretty self explanitory.)

Summer Chicken Wraps


That’s just a few ideas I have in my arsinal. I’ve got a few cocktail/mocktail ideas as well. I can’t wait for them to get here. We could go downtown Denver and stroll around possibly stopping by the Market for a Cuppa…


We can go to the reservoir nearby and see the hot air balloons launch off, or go to the farmer’s market on Sunday by the Tattered Cover and I think there is a carnival that is going to be going on nearby during this weekend as well. The options are endless I just can’t wait for them to get here!

I plan on eating fairly healthy but I have a feeling I’m going to have to run like Forest Gump to get back to where I was before vacation. I still haven’t weighed myself… I figured ignorance is bliss at this point. But we shall see…